This episode looks at the impact of events in Afghanistan on the broader region and the balance of power there.
It goes without saying that the crisis in Afghanistan will create new risks for the region, but Central Asia has long lived with chaos on its borders, and already has twenty years of experience in dealing with the Taliban.
It would be foolish to assume the American withdrawal from Afghanistan will be repeated everywhere else that there is a U.S. presence.
Nothing remotely resembling the “inclusive government” that the Taliban have promised is likely to appear in Afghanistan, while drug trafficking and religious extremism will mushroom.
For Kazakhstan, cordial relations with the United States are an important part of its strategy for counterbalancing Russian and Chinese influence.
The nature of the Afghan problem for Central Asia and Russia lies in Afghanistan becoming a source of instability for the region.
The CSTO still has a chance to prove itself—if it can demonstrate effective and coordinated work after the impending withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
It was not so long ago that the United States had military bases in the region. But now much depends on whether the advantages would outweigh the inevitable losses that Central Asian countries would sustain as a result of Moscow and Beijing’s displeasure.
The recent escalation did not resemble a local dispute that got out of hand. Dark clouds have been gathering over the region for a long time, and the decision to embark on military action was taken at the highest level.
Moscow doesn’t see the current Afghan government as autonomous, and is trying to strike a balance between all the different forces at play there in order to retain its influence if one of those forces collapses.